29.12.1990

Querido Papá,

It’s still hard to believe that I am in my thirties. I do not know when I got so old. That’s not the truth – we’ve all grown up quickly during such stressful times. But it’s still strange to see how life has changed. Mamá’s hair was completely grey the last time that Cristian and I saw her. And Enrique and Sofía have just had their third child, a daughter named María this time. I don’t know how they are managing to sleep, not with Memo and Juanito always running around and wrestling each other. The two of them are so big now, and Juanito will be starting escuela primario next year.

As much as I love spending time with my nephews, sometimes it is hard to see Enrique and Sofía living happily with their children. Cristian and I have given up on trying to have our own. After the second pregnancy didn’t catch, we went to a doctor who told us that if I were to get pregnant a third time it might be too dangerous for me. I remember it was a Thursday, because Cristian went back to work after we found out and I went and sat down in the Plaza de Mayo. There were still mothers there, marching with pictures of their lost sons. I thought, how lucky they are that they still have pictures and memories to treasure, and then I felt so sick that I had to find a bathroom and take deep breaths in front of the sink for several minutes. Cristian tentatively brought up the idea of adoption, but neither he nor I could really stomach that idea, not when las Abuelas are still trying to find their adopted grandchildren. It’s a difficult choice to make, because while I don’t want to be involved in something that is connected to the negative history, I feel like I’ve failed both myself and my husband. I never even knew how excited I was to be a mother until it was no longer an option anymore.

Cristian says that he’s not disappointed by it, that he would rather have me by his side and he would never ask me to risk my life for this baby. But I can tell that it bugs him, sometimes. All of our arguments since we found out have seemed to much more tense. Just today, when we heard that Menem had pardoned both the military officials as well as the guerrilla leaders who have been leading attacks recently, I mentioned how nice it will be, to just be able to issue pardons and forgive and to move beyond all of this negativity and violence in our lives. I thought that he would be happy to see us moving towards reconciliation, but instead he got angry and we argued and finally he shouted at me, “All you ever do is ignore the problems in your life. How can you be so selfish? You can’t just separate yourself from the past like that, not when other people are still suffering from it.”

He walked out after that, and he hasn’t come home since. It’s not the worst fight that we’ve had in the past few years, and I’m sure that he’ll come home as I’m reading in bed and slide his arms around me. I just don’t know if it will be he or I who apologizes first, and if it is me, whether I will mean it. Even though I am sorry that people are still suffering, I still feel we cannot move on as a country unless we forgive everyone on both sides for their sins and start our lives anew. But I don’t like to see him angry with me, and it’s getting harder and harder to hear about all of the things that happened during that time and recognize how unaware I was of everything.

Malena

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